Interstellar Communication Is Closer Than You Think

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What will we do when ET comes a-calling?

Over the past 50 years, over 100 program from SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) have proved to be unfruitful. Yet we're much closer to interstellar communication than one might think, reported Discovery News.

With vast amounts of the solar system still left unexplored, it's possible we could make contact via radio beacons with extraterrestrials if they were attempting to make contact with us, Discovery noted. Indeed, it's no longer a question of if but rather of when -- and whether we should respond to the aliens when they call.

According to SETI scientist, Jill Tarter, we have analyzed only an insignificant portion of the Milky Way. Imagine the volume of a cup of coffee compared to the volume of all the Earth's oceans. Pretty small right?

John Billingham of the SETI Institute and James Benford of Microwave Sciences believe it is critical to establish an international symposium now to decide what exactly we would say to an alien, the news site noted.

So far attempts to contact the aliens have gone without response, however -- Earthlings have sent out musical melodies, binary greetings in Russian and English, modern day hieroglyphics and text files. Maybe the aliens don't appreciate Lady Gaga.

For more on the search for life in the universe, see the full story at Discovery News.